The road to Wembley begins for Long Eaton and The New Saints this Sunday as the two Midland clubs face off in the Second Round Qualifying of the Women’s FA Cup.
The Magic of the FA Cup
Long Eaton enjoyed a rich vein of form at the start of the season, winning five on the bounce before falling to their first defeat. They quickly bounced back in their next game to win away 2-8 at Burton before last weekend’s draw against The New Saints
Similarly, TNS also enjoyed a 5-game winning streak, but have lost one more game than Sunday’s opposition.
Separated by three points, The Blues sit second in the table, while TNS occupy 4th, positions that represent a marked improvement on last season.
The teams met as recently as last weekend with the two sides unable to be separated after 90 minutes. On this occasion Laura Pennington gave The New Saints the lead before Kirsty Allen equalised in the second half to earn Long Eaton a point.
Nicola Emery has found the net 7 times this season for Long Eaton, while Kimberley Bebbington leads the way for The Green Army, scoring 5 times.
The nature of cup football means all that has happened so far this season can mean everything and absolutely nothing – the Magic of the FA Cup.
Coincidentally, both teams met the same stage of the competition last season, with Long Eaton progressing, before beating Sporting Khalsa and Nettleham to reach the Second Round where Northern Premier’s Hull City proved to be too strong for the Derbyshire side, bringing an end to their excellent cup run.
While The New Saints bowed out of the competition at the first hurdle, they managed to exact revenge by completing the league double over John Bennett’s side.